Coca-Cola European Partners closing in on 100% renewables target

Multinational bottling company Coca Cola European Partners (CCEP) has almost cut emissions in half over the past six years, as it closes in on a target to purchase 100% of its electricity from renewable sources.

CCEP’s 2016 sustainability report notes that the producer and distributor of Coca-Cola products has reduced emissions by 42.6% since 2010, as well as a 24.6% reduction of the carbon footprint in the value chain over the same period.

“When we created the world’s largest Coca-Cola bottler, we put sustainability – in it broadest sense – at the heart of the business,” CCEP’s chief executive Damian Gammell said. “I am proud we have achieved so much since forming CCEP and this is truly down to the passion and commitment of our employees and the great partnerships that we have developed with suppliers, customers, local communities, NGOs and stakeholders.”

CCEP registered a 7.4% reduction in emission compared to 2015. Operating across 13 countries, manufacturing operations and commercial sites account for 21% of the carbon footprint, while 7% is derived from the value chain.

The company’s 1.1m coolers, vendors and fountain machines placed onto customer premises make up the largest part of the carbon footprint, accounting for more than 56%. Transportation acts as the second largest percentage – 22% for core business and 8% of value chain emissions.

In total, CCEP invested €3m in energy and carbon-saving technologies in 2016. This includes 63,000 units of new cooler equipment, which has made the cooler fleet 40% HFC-free as a result. In 2016, 98% of cooler purchases were HFC-free.

For transportation, main haulers are moving to the latest EURO VI emissions standard and all diesel vehicles are expected to comply by 2018. CCEP continues to invest in biofuel, and company tailpipe emissions fell by 2% in 2016 and are down 30% since 2010.

Emissions have been reduced thought CCEP’s commitment to source 100% electricity from renewable sources by 2020. As of 2016, this figure sits at 75%.

Waste and water

Outside of the company’s carbon footprint, CCEP has accelerated efforts to promote water stewardship, waste management and sustainable sourcing practices.

CCEP continues to ensure that all of its packaging is recyclable. In 2016, 21% of the polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastic used came from recycled sources. In fact, 16% of these bottles were refillable, along with 88% of glass bottles.

Using recycled content also provides a positive impact on energy use. 33% of aluminium, steel and glass materials from CCEP were made from recycled material in 2016, and using recycled aluminium uses around 95% less energy than virgin sources.

In 2009, Coca-Cola became the first beverage company to introduce PlantBottle, a plant-based bottle package, with more than 40bn rolled-out into circulation across 40 countries – a feat which has eliminated 365,000 tonnes of carbon. In 2016, 7.6% of produced bottles were from the PlantBottle range.

Since 2010, CCEP has reduced its packaging use ratio (g/litre) by 18%. This has contributed to the increased number of sites that are sending zero waste to landfill. In total, 34 of the company’s 53 plants are sending zero waste to landfill, equating to 64%.

CCEP is working with third-party certification bodies, such as the recently-merged UTZ and Rainforest Alliance, as well as the FSC. CCEP is currently collecting FSC certification from existing suppliers, who have a 2020 deadline to comply with the standard.

For water use, a 10.3% reduction has been achieved since 2010, with CCEP using an average of 1.61 litres of water to make one litre of product. In addition, 100% of the company’s wastewater is “safely returned to nature”, while partnerships with NGOs have been formed to replenish 100% of the water used in water-stressed areas. So far, 89% of water volume in these areas has been replenished.

Matt Mace

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